Universal Credit will start from the date you make your claim. It will only be backdated in exceptional circumstances, so don't delay making your claim or you might lose money.
Apply for Universal Credit
Universal Credit is a benefit which you need to claim and manage online. Your application for Universal Credit must be made online at GOV.UK.
Apply for Universal Credit (via GOV.UK)
If you need help with applying, you can watch the 'opening a Universal Credit account' video on YouTube.
As well as applying online, you'll also need to attend an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus. It's important that you book and attend the interview when you're asked to, or your claim won't be complete and you won't get Universal Credit.
If your application is successful, you'll get your first payment about five weeks after applying online.
If you don't have access to a computer or the internet, you may be able to use a computer at a library or your local Jobcentre Plus office. A map showing public computer facilities in Middlesbrough can be found further down the page. Please note, access to the computers may be limited.
If you need help to claim Universal Credit, you can get support by contacting your nearest Jobcentre Plus or Citizens Advice.
You can also make a claim over the phone by calling the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 or by textphone to 0800 328 1344.
Before you start your claim
Once you start your application online, you can save your details and come back to it later, but you'll need the following information to complete your application:
- National Insurance number
- details of the bank, building society, or Credit Union account you want your Universal Credit paid into
- your rent agreement (if you have one)
- details of your savings or other capital
- details of any income that's not from work (such as from a private / works pension, or an insurance plan)
- details of any other benefits you’re getting
- your email address
- your mobile phone number
- photo ID, for example a driving licence
You'll also need these details for anyone else who lives in your home, like your partner.
Using a computer to make your claim
If you need to use a computer to make your Universal Credit claim, you can contact us, your local Jobcentre Plus, or some of the partners we work with. Find out where you can get free access to a computer to make a claim.
After you've made your claim, you'll be asked to attend an interview at your local Jobcentre Plus. You can book your interview by following the instructions at the end of the online claim process.
Please note, Universal Credit is not paid by Middlesbrough Council. If you have any questions about the amount of Universal Credit you get or how it's paid, you should contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.
Find out more about Universal Credit via GOV.UK.